Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Light in Dark Places

The moon reflects the sun's light, just as we reflect God's light. We don't shine on our own, but through His glory we become light to a darkened world. Interesting, that even though the shadow overtakes us, we still glow with His light.

Enjoy this video of the 2010 lunar eclipse, and pray about how God can use you as light in the dark places.

I wish that Mr. Castleman would have used This Little Light of Mine for the above video. Following is the best rendition of this song I have ever heard!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Celebrating Me

This week I’m celebrating me. It’s my birthday week, so bear with me. I onlyMe - Newborn do this once a year.

Here is my thinking lest you find this activity vain. When my son was two years old, my parents bought a little blue t-shirt for him that said “God Don’t Make No Junk.” It saddens me when I hear of people not willing to celebrate their birthdays. Perhaps it was a situation in their past that triggers that emotion. Perhaps it’s a too humble opinion of themselves. Perhaps they simply don’t like the attention.

But. . .

God made me. He had a good reason for making me. He  celebrates me everyday. So, I feel I’m honoring God by joining in that celebration for one week out of the year. 

My celebration started today. I spent it getting to know a new friend better before church, and then enjoying the pastor’s talk. Afterward, I went to a craft bazaar. I had invited my daughter-in-law along, but she’s been sick all week and didn’t feel she could be on her feet for that long. I was disappointed, but determined to continue my celebration of me by going alone.

However, while having lunch with my husband (celebrating both of us!) I thought about my friend Paula. During football season, her husband and three boys abandon her for the television set downstairs. She was more than willing to join me for fun Christmas craft shopping. And, her husband was more than willing to let her go since she had already complained (in a good natured way) about “quality time” on Sundays that excluded girlie  stuff. When I called, he commented that I had rescued him, not her. LOL

Paula and I had a lovely time of chatting, oohing and ahing over sparkly jewelry and pretty scarves, and enjoying the Christmas music on this first day of my special week. We even bought each other presents. Well, she started it by paying for a scarf I was looking at and telling me “Happy Birthday”, so I returned the favor and bought her one, too—for her birthday in October! Belated presents are the best because they make your birthday last that much longer. Yeah, we’ll go with that.

So, the first day of Celebrate Me has gone very well so far. I intend to do fun stuff for the rest of the week. Go to movies, read books without feeling guilty that the housework isn’t done—I may even get a pedicure. Perhaps a massage! I don’t know what my week will bring.

For fifty-one weeks out of the year, I will devote my time to my husband, children, grandchildren, friends, organizations I belong to, my writing career, my church. But for this one week, my birthday week—when God said, “I will make Kathy, and she will be special because I don’t make junk.”—I Celebrate Me!

Kathy age seven

Me – Seven years old, my fave pic of myself as a little girl.


Me – A favorite pose that I performed regularly until I was old enough to realize how silly it was.

IMG_0008Me – During my ventriloquist phase. This is Rowlf of Muppets fame with me, before Sesame Street. He was a regular on The Jimmy Dean Show.

IMG_0007 Me – Unwrapping my guitar on Christmas. I think I was sixteen. This is the instrument I still use today. We’ve been through a lot, this ol’ guitar and me.

IMG_0006 Me – My favorite style of fishing.

ACFW Minneapolis 2008 008Me – My first book signing, ACFW Conference, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2008

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

An Interview with the Oregon Heroines

This article appeared on the Heartsong Presents author blog the week of Sept 20.

For today’s article, I thought it would be fun to interview my Oregon heroines. We will cover their aspirations in life, their relationships with the Lord, and for fun, something about the men.


God Gave the Song Please meet Ruthanne Fairfax from God Gave the Song (GGS),  




Crossroads Bay Meranda Drake from Crossroads Bay (CB),




Fine Feathered Friend  and Glenys Bernard from Fine, Feathered Friend (FFF). Welcome ladies!




Ruthanne (GGS): Hi Kathy. It’s been awhile.

K: I know! Your story came out in October 2009! It’s great to reconnect with you again.

Meranda (CB): Ahoy, Kathy! How is the landlubber?

K: You know me. I got nauseous just writing about you on your charter boat!

Glenys (FFF): Hi Kats! So great to see you this soon!

K: Absolutely! I hated to let you, or any of the ladies, go. But there are readers out there who need to hear your stories. So, let’s get started.

K: First of all, tell us what you wanted in life at the beginning of your stories. (We don’t want tell how you’re doing now, or it may spoil things for my audience! LOL)

Ruthanne (GGS): I was so focused on helping my friend, Hannie, manage her alpaca ranch, that I nearly missed how sick she’d gotten. But, I wanted so much to help this magnificent woman after the death of her husband. I guess I poured so much into the business that I forgot to have a life.

K: Well, we fixed that little problem, didn’t we? BTW, after researching alpacas, I think I want one now.

Meranda (CB): Nothing became more important to me than finding the coins that had been in my family for generations. I needed to prove that they weren’t a myth because my father died trying to find them, and the whole community labeled him “crazy.” I’m afraid I neglected the rest of my family as I became obsessed.

K; But sometimes the hardest lessons are the ones that reap the greatest rewards. Of all my heroines, Meranda, you were the one that I had to push off the edge to get you to see God’s will.

Glenys (FFF): I guess focus was the theme for all of us. I was so focused on landing that career changing role in a movie that I forgot who God wanted me to be.

K: You’re right, Glenys. All of you were living with blinders in your own little worlds. But, we must start low if we’re going to end high, and each of you came away with lessons learned.

Meranda (CB): Hey! Be careful not to spoil anything for your readers!

K: Heartsong readers know there’s always a happy ending. They wouldn’t read if you all stayed in yourselves and never grew. And speaking of growing, let’s talk about your relationships with God.

Ruthanne (GGS): I think I can speak for all of us when I say we all knew the Lord, but had strayed from His plan. For myself, Hannie had led me into the Kingdom after taking me in. Her servant’s heart touched me deeply, and I aspire to be just like her.

Meranda (CB): Yes, I also strayed. My family had gone to church when I was young, mostly because it was THE thing to do. My mother was more focused on being seen at church than seeking God. But, somehow, His word soaked in to my young soul. I drifted away after my father died, angry at Him for taking Pop away.

Glenys (FFF): My mother led me to the Lord. Between us, we worked on Dad, but she never saw his conversion. . .this side of heaven anyway. I knew I wanted to become an actress, but somehow, I forgot to pray about that. Was that God’s will for my life? Did He want me to go out for the big role? I had a tough lesson to learn, as well.

K: Yes, we all journeyed together, didn’t we girls? And now, let’s talk about our men!

Ruthanne (GGS): I thought Skye Randall was the oddest person I’d ever met. And remember, Hannie was a hippie! Despite his sky blue eyes (and yes, I did notice them!) there was a cloud hanging over him. A dark, thunder cloud. He was clearly unhappy that we raised alpacas on our ranch. But, he was a good man. I saw that through his determination as he worked through things in his own life.

Meranda (CB): I’m afraid I didn’t see Paul Godfrey as the hero in my story for quite awhile. He catered a wedding on my boat, but all I noticed was that he spent most of his time draped over the side. No way was I going to hook up with a landlubber!

K: But I had other plans.

Meranda (CB): Oh, yes you did, and when I finally saw him the way you wrote him. . .wow! Who can resist a man who not only cooks for you and but helps you follow your dream.

Glenys (FFF): I’m afraid I was so frightened of all the birds in the rescue center that I didn’t even think about Tim Vogel as a potential boyfriend.

K: Hey, you had a fear of birds because of my Aunt Helen.

(Silence and strange looks from the three women.)

K: Let me explain. My Great-Aunt Helen and Great-Uncle Cameron raised chickens at their house in Ellis, Kansas. When I was about six years old, we visited them. Aunt Helen took me out to see the chickens. She placed a hen in my arms and it wasn’t as soft as it looked! I thought the pin feathers and clawed feet felt “icky” in my arms. And when it thrashed around wanting to be let go, it frightened me. So, poor Glenys had to suffer because of me. Sorry about that. But, please, continue telling about Tim.

Glenys (FFF): Thanks a lot, Kathy! Now, back to the more pleasant subject! I gravitated toward Tim, mostly to avoid the other bird of prey, a tall, slimy man named Vic. Both men had offered to help me over my fear, but Tim seemed the safest choice. It’s a shame that he had to work through his prejudice over actresses in order to get to know me better.

K: Thank you, ladies! It still astounds me how three diverse women could have the same struggles and victories, yet such different stories. It’s been great visiting with you again. Let’s keep in touch!

Ruthanne (GGS): Thank you, Kathy! I pray your readers continue to pass your books along so that we can continue to relay God’s message through our stories.

(Meranda and Glenys nod in agreement, wide smiles on their faces.)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Theme Verses

The following article appeared on the Heartsong Presents authors blog the week of Sept 20.

BibleYou’ve seen the scripture on back covers of Heartsong Presents books. But have you ever wondered how the author arrives at that particular verse?

Heartsong is one of the few publishers that requires this verse. Not only does it enrich the reader’s experience, it also keeps the author on track with their spiritual theme as they write the book.

As I tested my wings with my debut novel, Merely Players, it would have been so easy to go into several directions. The spiritual theme wasn’t obvious to me at first since I did no pre-plotting. But eventually it was clear that the characters struggled with their identity in Christ.

Imagine my pleasure when part of my favorite passage became the theme. “O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.” Psalm 139:1 NIV

Brick and Bethany didn’t know who they were, but once they both yielded to God, He illumined the identities they had both been born into. Brick especially struggled. He’d become a different person entirely from the one Bethany knew as a teenager, even going so far as changing his hair color and his name. But God used Bethany to bring him into his true self, because God knew who he was deep down inside.

After that book, I plotted each novel, making it clearer to know each of my characters before the first word was written. In the first of the Oregon series, God Gave the Song, Skye is challenged by God to forgive the mother who hurt him so deeply. He finds that he can’t move on until he does one crucial thing. “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:25. Ruthanne had to learn the same lesson due to her ex-husband’s neglect and abandonment.

The second of the Oregon series is Crossroads Bay. This verse became more than a scriptural lesson for Meranda. It became the key to finding her inner and outer treasures. “This is what the LORD says: ‘Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’” Jeremiah 6:16

After searching for the coins that had been in her family for generations, she found herself at a crossroads. Should she continue the journey that took her father’s life and almost ended hers, or trust that if God wanted her to find the coins, He would lead her there.

For Fine, Feathered Friend, the Lord allowed me to have somefile9381250976295 unusual fun with the verse. In the story, Cyrano is a tattle-tale African Gray Parrot. He tells the heroine, Glenys, everything the hero, Tim, says about her. Glenys has no idea who is talking to Cyrano since he is exposed to so many people at the Raptor Rescue center. Cyrano’s reports are a tad skewed since he rarely relates things in the right order.

In a radical move on my part, rather than finding a verse that reflected the spiritual theme, I decided to tackle Cyrano’s problem. I went to www.BibleGateway.com and searched for gossip. Most of the verses were so negative, that I couldn’t burden poor Cyrano with them. After all, he was only trying to play matchmaker. So, I entered “bird” just to see what would come up. The following verse, to my delight, became the verse on the back cover of Fine, Feathered Friend. “. . .A bird of the air may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say.” Ecclesiastes 10:20

Yes, readers, God has a delicious sense of humor.

Within the text, I used another verse that dealt with fear, since Glenys is an actress afraid of birds and Tim is a bird handler afraid of actresses. “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25. This helped me stay on track, but always, I’d have the fun verse in front of me as a reminder to play and have a blast.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

HCG Drops – Day 44 – Links

Well, I made it. Not to my goal. Nooo, that is a long way off. But I made it through the drops, and I’ve got to say, it wasn’t that bad. I liked only having a small list, kinda getting back to basics. Here are my stats:

  • I’ve lost 26 lbs (I had hoped for 30, but I’m happy.)
  • I’ve lost 7.5 inches

Note that the inches are only in three strategic places on my body, not the overall number. The next time I go to Curves, I’ll have them measure me and we’ll see how many inches I’ve lost. I know my ankles and legs are thinner.

But that pesky stomach thing. . . It is three inches smaller, but so is every other area, so it still looks large to me. My pants fit better, though, and I only have one more notch in my belt before I’ll have to get a new one. (I’ve been through two notches now. Yea!)

Here’s my latest pic:


I went off the drops for three days, (72 hours is recommended to get all the HCG out of your system,) and by the fourth, I was beginning to feel hunger. I’ve been adding in fats today by way of cream cheese and sour cream in a couple of scrambled eggs and Ranch dressing on steamed broccoli. According to protocol, you shouldn’t lose or gain more than two pounds after finishing the drops. This is to set your metabolism. I’ve known of people, however, who continue to lose during the last two phases. I hope their weight doesn’t spring back on them when they’re through.

Following are the links I’ve found most helpful. Some are the same ones I included in past posts, but I thought I’d include them here so they’ll all be in one place.

  • Pounds & Inches – This is the original protocol by Dr. Simeons. It refers to the injections, but the food and time spent on the diet are all the same. It is advisable to read this whole thing before starting the diet.
  • HCGDietJourney.com – This is a brief overview of Dr. Simeons protocol plus some FAQs.
  • BuyHCGToday.com – This is where I got my drops. IMPORTANT: If you need to buy more than one bottle, then go to the picture that offers that many bottles. You get a special price doing it that way. If you go to the single bottle and ask for multiple quantities, you won’t get a discount. I ordered three at first, but they’re only good for a month and I went on the 42 day drops. So, I just ordered three more for a total of $99 + $9.99 shipping. ALSO IMPORTANT: You don’t need all the other bells and whistles on this site. Mediral HCG drops without vitamins and stuff is just fine. 
  • hcgrecipes.com/HCG-ebook-preview.pdf – A really good cookbook for the VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet of 500 calories.)

Recipes abound for free on the net, you just have to search for them. Always keep the protocol in mind, though, because some people like to stray from it. What works for them might not work for you.

I’ll be on low-carbs for three weeks, then I’ll get to add starches to my diet for three more weeks. Then, I’ll do this all over again.

If you’re confused about the different phases, here is what I’ve learned:

  • P1 – Phase 1 in Dr. Simeons’ Day was the period where one is on the drops. But Kevin Troudeau had to come in and mess with it. He is an infomercial giant, but has gained notoriety with his book, The Weight Loss Cure (“They” Don’t Want You to Know About.) In it he recommends that you do detoxification with a colon cleanse before starting this diet. This has now become the new P1 making the very low calorie diet (VLCD) the new P2. In most of my research and among my friends doing this diet, the colon cleanse is not necessary.
  • P2 – As a result of Trudeau’s meddling, this can now refer to either the VLCD  phase or the low carb phase.
  • P3 – And now, this can be the “adding starches back in” phase or low carb phase.
  • P4 – Non-existent in Dr. Simeons’ day, but with the Trudeau debacle is the starch phase.

No wonder I was confused! I now check the article or recipes carefully for clarification before assuming what phase they’re talking about.

Honestly, this is one of those diets that you simply have to research for yourself to see how simple it is. I hope I haven’t confused you while trying to relay what I’ve learned. If so, please disregard everything I’ve said and do your own searches. I promise, it is really easy once you get into the groove of this plan.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

And With Butterflies Come Change

I’ve changed my blog template again. I did love the purple, but even I found it annoying after awhile. And the design, while cute, really didn’t reflect who I am.

After visiting Robbie Iobst’s Joyvotion blog , I noticed yet another cute design. Her’s comes from The Cutest Blog on the Block. When I changed my template before, I was actually searching for a butterfly, because that reflects who I ahbbpurplepolkam. A changed-from-my-old-self born-again Christian. But, I admit, the purple design caught my eye, although the bows didn’t do much for me.  

Hot Bliggity Blog didn’t have many butterflies, and I didn’t like the colors on the ones they did have. But when I found The Cutest Blog on the Block, and skimmed through all of the templates, three nominees leaped out. The one I’ve incorporated in this blog was the winner. I like the sophisticated, artsy feel of it. I hope you do too.

But more than just wanting a template that reflects me, I wanted my favorite symbol of hope, change, and new life on my blog. When I accepted Christ in the early ‘70s, the chrysalis surrounding me burst open, and I’ve been floating on God’s air ever since.

"I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." ~John 10:10b

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Right Brain/Left Brain – Another Test

Thanks to author Angela Hunt, who posted this on her blog. I’ve just taken the Creativity Test to find out if I’m more Right Brained or Left Brained. I usually split close to the middle on these tests, and this was no exception. Today, the right brain is higher, which is no surprise because I’m having a hard time concentrating on organizing my office. My right brain wants to play, so it keeps squelching my left brain from being productive.

Here is my result:

Thank you for taking the Creativity Test. The results show your brain dominance as being:

Left Brain 45%
Right Brain 55%

You are more right-brained than left-brained. The right side of your brain controls the left side of your body. In addition to being known as right-brained, you are also known as a creative thinker who uses feeling and intuition to gather information. You retain this information through the use of images and patterns. You are able to visualize the "whole" picture first, and then work backwards to put the pieces together to create the "whole" picture. Your thought process can appear quite illogical and meandering. The problem-solving techniques that you use involve free association, which is often very innovative and creative. The routes taken to arrive at your conclusions are completely opposite to what a left-brained person would be accustomed. You probably find it easy to express yourself using art, dance, or music. Some occupations usually held by a right-brained person are forest ranger, athlete, beautician, actor/actress, craftsman, and artist.

It goes on to say that my predominant percentage on the left is “linear” at 48%. This is what they say about this:

Linear Processing

. . . In this process, the left brain takes pieces of information, lines them up, and proceeds to arrange them into an order from which it may draw a conclusion. The information is processed from parts to a whole in a straight, forward, and logical progression.

Your Linear Analysis

When processing information using this method, you will occasionally feel the need to see the "whole picture" before you are able to achieve results. At other times, you are able to piece all of the parts together in a straight and logical progression to form a whole, which then enables you to understand what you have processing. The information, your mood, and your level of comfortable are all factors that determine your response to a linear processing problem.

My Right Brain predominant percentage is “fantasy oriented.” Big surprise! Not! All my life I’ve been accused of living in my own little world.

Fantasy-oriented Processing

Fantasy-oriented processing is used by the right hemisphere as a method for processing information with creativity. It focuses much less on rules and regulations than the processing method of a left-brained person. Due to the fantasy-oriented processing mechanism of a right-brained person, they do not adjust well to change. Instead of adapting to the change in the environment, a right-brained person attempts to change it back to the way they liked it. But fantasy-oriented processing also provides the advantage of creativity to right-brained individuals, and since emotion is integral of the right side of the brain, anything a fantasy-oriented person becomes involved in emotionally will aid their ability to learn.

Your Fantasy-oriented Analysis

You have the ability to use both creativity and reality to process the information you receive. This is a unique gift that allows you to both focus on rules and regulations but to also act with creativity. You are able to adjusting to change, even though you might not like it, and you can become emotionally involved in your work if it interests you.

This test pleases me as a writer. I need the extra right brain boost to create my stories, but I need the left brain organization to keep me on task.

So, what’s my problem today? Could it be that the day is gorgeous and I’m in here trying to organize my office and taking silly tests?

To take this test, please go to Angela Hunt’s blog and use the link there.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

HCG Drops – Day 28

I like this diet.

The hardest part is being prepared when I’m away from home. But I’ve been buying lean lunchmeat and scrupulously watching the ingredients. Some have sugar added. One hundred grams of lunchmeat and a tomato or other veggie, and I can join my family at restaurants. Okay, I don’t actually take it into restaurants other than McDonald’s or other fast-food places where I doubt they’d notice. Sometimes I eat it in the car on the way there. I do buy a drink wherever we dine, so I’m not being totally rude.

And now, the drum roll!

  • I’ve lost 18 lbs
  • I’ve lost 6 inches

Wahoo! My average is .5 lbs a day. I had a tiny setback the other day. Even though I’d lost a whopping 2.5 lbs in two days, I gained it right back. I’m thinking it was water weight. I drank some diet sodas over the weekend. But I lost 1.5 lbs of it today, so I’m almost back on track.

Speaking of sodas, here’s a great homemade variety that satisfies that bubbly feeling in my mouth and any candy cravings:

  • Mix sparkling water with English Toffee Stevia and Chocolate Stevia. I use 4 drops each to 16 oz, then add a packet of Saccharin for added sweetness.

Now, even though my waist has finally started to get the clue that we’re dieting, my hips are another story. Here’s my latest pic:

Yes friends, if I keep losing in every area but my butt, this is what you have to look forward to seeing if you follow me anywhere.

I don’t know if I’ll reach my goal of 30 lbs lost by the end of the drops, but hopefully I’ll continue to lose in Phase 3.

I’ll update later!

Friday, July 23, 2010

HCG Drops -- Day 10

First, the nifty news:

  • I’ve lost 9 lbs
  • I’ve lost 3 inches

Wahoo! I’d love to lose 30 lbs this first round, and since I’m on a 40 day plan, hopefully I’ll make it.

On the downside, during the last couple of days I was hungry, particularly between lunch and dinner. But after researching, I found that I can either up my dose (I’m taking 10 drops 3x a day and can up it to 15 drops max,) or possibly spread out my food choices. I opted to spread out for now, at least for lunch. I had leftover roast beef for lunch, and in a couple of hours I’ll have a tomato. I can throw in a fruit a couple of hours after that. This may not be feasible if I want to do an entree that requires a mix of foods, like chick salad, so we’ll see.

Also, although I’ve been losing inches, I’ve only lost an inch around my waist. If that problem area isn’t whittled down soon, I fear I will begin to look something like this. . .


If you’re as anal as I am, and like to track your progress, allow me to share a couple of charts.











After filling in my chart with dates, I made several copies and counted out the whole process. I did this because I have a huge writer’s conference coming up and I didn’t want to be on the VLCD or Ph III part of the diet while there.

Below, I’ll show you how I filled mine out. (Well, not the personal stuff, of course <blushing>.) Where you see a gap in dates, just imagine the full page with quote marks (or what I do is make a squiggly line down through all of the boxes until something changes.)


  • load = load days, the first two days of the round where you get to pig out
  • VLCD = Very Low Cal Days, the popular acronym that you’ll see often during your research.
  • Ph III = The 3-week period where you go off the drops but stay on a healthy carb/no starch diet.
  • Ph IV = The 3-week period where you slowly begin to eat normally. * This period lengthens [The entire time you’re off the drops should lengthen] between each round if you need to be on the diet for longer than one round. I’ll be doing 8 weeks after round 2 and if I need to do one more, it will go to 12 weeks. I can’t find where read that, but I’ve also heard it from more than one person. *I’ve edited this as the way it was written was misleading. Go to this site for more info.
  • Note: the items in green are actually penciled in.



















You’ll see that during the first two days I’m on the drops, I load my body with fat. Then, on the third I go on the VLCD. When that’s through, I go off the drops, but stay on the VLCD for two days to help stabilize my metabolism. Then, as I stay off the drops, I move to Ph III where I slowly introduce fats (only healthy carbs allowed, and no starches.) The previous information was taken from here.

My other chart helps me keep track of the food I eat. In the row with the “1”, that number is the day of the month. So, envision a full page of the first 15 days. Do another with 16-31 days and print on the back. (This is assuming you’re using a spread sheet. You can also do the whole thing by hand since it isn’t very intricate.)

p=protein; v=vegetable; f=fruit; b=bread


Month _________






Tea Chick salad Roast/tomato apple/
melba toast
f-          b- p-   1      f-
v-   1      b-
p-        f-
v-   1       b-
p-          f- 11
v-          b- 1
p-  11      f- 11
v-   11     b- 1


Note that I don’t have a calorie count on this chart. I’m not a numbers gal. No no no no. But, I’ve had success with exchange diets before, so this works well for me. Also note that the “1” in the pfvb cells is actually a hash mark. No, I did not have eleven fruit exchanges, although yesterday, that would have sounded good. BTW, it’s 2:15 p.m. right now and I’m not hungry after eating my beef for lunch. Yea!

So, that’s where I am. I’ll update (or not) later. Oh, who am I kidding, of course I’ll update.


I also want to mention that I’ve turned off the comments section of this blog. I was being attacked by Chinese porn spam. I’m hoping Blogger is fixing this issue as the help section seemed full of people with the same problem. I thought I’d keep it off for a month or two then turn it on again to see if they gave up trying to comment. If you know me, feel free to email me. Or you can comment on my Facebook page when this shows up.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

HCG Drops – Day 4

Before you wonder what happened to days 1-3, I didn’t post then. I hesitate posting now. Most everyone I know who have been on these miracle weight-reducing drops have kept it a secret until they reveal their near perfect bodies.

I’ve never been one for convention.

You may or may not have heard of this too-good-to-be-true diet. I wouldn’t have considered it if I didn’t personally know people who have been successful on it. That being said, I indemnify myself against anyone coming to me later and saying they had tried the diet and it didn’t work, or worse, did harm to their bodies. Go sue Dr. Simmons. He’s the one that invented the thing.

Speaking of Dr. Simmons, it’s advisable that you read his report: Pounds and Inches, found in it’s entirety free online. He talks about the injections, (I have chosen to use the homeopathic drops instead for. . .um. . .obvious reason,) but the principles are the same. Do your research before attempting this diet! A lot can be found online.

Now, assuming we’re all on the same page, and I won’t have to answer any questions that you could easily find in a Google search, I’ll continue.

No promises on how often I’ll post my progress or struggles. But, I thought if my sharing helps one person, perhaps it would be worth opening this very private part of myself. I intend to be very honest in this series of articles.

First, my before picture:file6891267422371



You think I’m going to post my real picture? I’m not that honest!

Here’s my diary so far:

  • Day 1 – Glut, aka Load Day 1. I ate all my favorite fatty foods, including cookies, Limon potato chips, and Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream. I also had some protein. Hubby and I went to Famous Dave’s for our anniversary, and I brought half of my short ribs home just for this day. By nightfall, I could barely move. The instructions said to pig-out, but I felt like whole hog was a bit much. Still, the reason for this is because the drops don’t kick in for about four days, so this extra fat was to keep me from getting hungry until they do.
  • Day 2 – Glut some more, aka Load Day 2. I gotta confess. I couldn’t eat a thing until about 2:30 in the afternoon.  I’d had half a pound of bacon the morning before, and had intended to finish it off on Day 2. Couldn’t do it. I did manage to get more fat into me in the afternoon and evening, though.
  • Day 3 – I’ve never been so happy to not eat in my life. What a relief! I think the Load days are more psychological than physical. After two days of cramming food down my gullet, I was relieved to start the 500 cals a day. I did well, but of course, it’s something new. I always do great on the first few days of a diet, but then get bored really quick and want to go back to just grabbing any convenience food I can.
  • Day 4 – Scales say I’ve lost a pound from when I started. I don’t count the weight after the load days, which added six pounds. When I gain that much that fast, it’s all water. The true test is my measurements. I lost a total of 1.5 inches, most of that off my waist. Again, I’m being cautious because I know that was water. It had to be. I pee’d enough yesterday!

And so, I’m sitting here at 5:00 p.m., not starving but feeling normal hunger nudges.

Another useful link is the HCG Diet info site. There’s a forum there, so please utilize that instead of asking me questions. I’m still new at this and don’t want to lead anyone astray. If you do comment, I’ve turned on the monitoring option because of spam comments I’ve been getting. So, if you don’t see your comment right away, give me time to approve it.

As I said, I don’t know how often I’ll post. You may not hear from me again until I’ve reached my goal. . .many, many days from now. But, I just wanted to blog about this new adventure, and hopefully it will have a happy ending.

Monday, July 12, 2010

My Best Friend

Thirty-five years ago today I married my best friend. Here is our life so far. . .

met in church. . .became best friends and confidants. . .realized God wanted to bless our relationship. . .became engaged. . .married on the hottest day of July, but our warmth for each other was all we felt that day. . .rented our first home. . .joined the Air Force. . .started a family. . .lived all over the world. . .shared a couple of mortgages. . .shared heartache and laughter. . .shared prayers. . .grew up together. . .grew old together. . .enjoyed grandchildren together. . .now looking forward to another thirty-five years. . .

Happy Anniversary, Honey!  You are my rock when I need stability, my mountain when I need to see beyond myself, my sandy cove when I need peace. You are the one without whom I would be incomplete.

I love you with all my heart, soul, and strength.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Novel in 16 Weeks? Here’s How.

Hey! Come over to the ACFW Colorado blog where I share the goal sheet that I use when creating my novels! You can either scroll down to it—it’s dated Tuesday, July 6, 2010—or look for it in the Blog Archives on right hand side.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Caves vs Beach – Explanation for the LOST


Wow! That was a great ride! The TV show, LOST, provided every amusement park thrill imaginable, and invented some of its own. Some of us are leaving the park feeling totally satisfied. Others are wanting back in because they don’t feel they’ve gotten their money’s worth. It’s interesting to read comments and how people are reacting to the series finale. It seems there are two different camps.

Just like in the show, people are split in their opinions. If you remember, early in the series, half the people decided to live in the caves, where they’d be protected from the elements and fresh water flowed.

But then there were those who stayed on the beach. It was familiar there. They could keep their eyes on the horizon for ships. They knew they would receive their answers there.

Cave people, by nature, are internal. They seek answers within themselves. Beach people are outward. Their answers come from somewhere on the horizon.

Wow. This is good stuff. I shall continue.

Cave people are those who were totally satisfied by the ending. They see inside the symbolisms, inside the relationships, inside the deeper spiritual meaning. They go deep inside themselves and interpret easily.

Beach people are frustrated because they don’t see the rescue ship. There is no easy answer. If they can’t see it, touch it, smell it, it can’t be real.

I’m sure, as time goes by and we all mull over the images we saw on our screens, the cave people and the beach people will once again be united.

That is, if they care enough to mull. There is a third camp that just wants to get off the island.

Following are a couple of good links passed on by Facebook friends that appeal to this cave person. If you prefer sand in your toes, please don’t discount these articles. The answers you seek are below.

And finally, if you’re interested in the craft of writing, don’t miss my article, “LOST—What They Did Right.” http://craftcinema.blogspot.com/2010/05/lost-what-they-did-right.html

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Alpacas, Whales, and Falcons

What do alpacas, whales, and falcons have in common? Read on and you’ll find out.

When deciding my next book project a couple of years ago, I thought, “How can I visit Mom in Oregon and get a tax write off?”

Okay, I didn’t exactly approach it that way, but I’m a fiction writer. What do you expect? However, the answer to my fictional question was to propose a three-book series set in Southern Oregon:
God Gave the Song, released last October; Crossroads Bay, releasing the end of this month; and Fine, Feathered Friend, still in process. (Added note: These titles are now in eBook form and can be found on Amazon. Here is my page for easy access.)  

My octogenarian mother lives in Medford, a fairly large town near an intriguing hamlet called Ashland, where I set
God Gave the Song. Creative people live in Ashland. Weavers, glass blowers, jewelry makers—this charming little college town is the home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and apparently where old hippies retired and birthed baby hippies.

And they have alpacas. Lots of them. They would have to in order to keep all those weavers in business.

God Gave the Song is about two people with abandonment issues who learn to forgive with the help of a melodious alpaca. And yes, alpacas hum. Usually when distressed, but often when contented. At least, that’s what several experts told me, so I’m sticking to that story.

My first up-close experience with an alpaca happened only a few miles from my Colorado home on Stargazer Ranch in Loveland. Okay, Colorado has alpacas, too, but Mom doesn’t live here. 

Before my trip to Oregon I continued my research online. Google became my friend as I virtually visited other ranches. But what I found most helpful were blogs by alpaca enthusiasts. Ranch owners who had funny, poignant, and real stories to tell became fodder for much of the alpaca action in my story. This is including my vignette about the cria who enjoyed a game of “Let’s Bounce Off Mommy.”

Once the story was contracted, I visited Mom. Yay! And God, who just had to show off, orchestrated my visit to coincide with an alpaca show practically in her backyard. How cool is He? We wandered around talking to tons of participants, getting ideas on everything from dyes to diet. Speaking of diet, in the afore mentioned blog article, I bring up the fascinating discussion of . . . um . . . alpaca excrement. I hadn’t learned yet what many in the biz call “beans.” Because it looks like . . . um . . . a pile of beans. Oh yeah, that had to make it in the book.

Then, with the help of my Oregon family, we visited all three locations of this series.

The second book is
Crossroads Bay where a beautiful charter boat captain searches for lost treasure while her real prize is the caterer trying to keep up with her. This book continues Paul’s story, a supporting character in God Gave the Song. Meranda, who gives whale watching tours, causes some consternation in Paul’s life as he is a severe landlubber. Oh, the things we writers do to our characters to make their lives miserable. Heh-heh . . .

Loosely based on a variety of coastal towns, our tour continued as we traveled from Coos Bay to Port Orford where we visited several lighthouses. Cape Blanco won my vote for favorite lighthouse in a setting, largely because of its red brick interior. My characters chisel at that brick to find the treasure. Are they successful? Read the book to find out!

And finally, on to the setting of the third book,
Fine, Feathered Friend. An actress and a falcon handler find love with the help of a tattletale parrot named Cyrano. I took two stabs at researching the setting for this book. It takes place in Shady Cove, about fifty miles from Crater Lake, but the raptor sanctuary I wanted to use was in Eugene. So I moved it. Sometimes I think writers have more power than they deserve.

At the Cascades Raptor Center, I met Brian, a handler with every bit of passion that Tim, my character, possesses. He introduced me to several predatory birds, among them a red-tailed hawk, two vultures who sized me up for a snack, and an eagle re-learning how to fly. His most interesting story was of a dead mouse he’d forgotten in his sweatshirt pocket. Dead mice are used as Scooby Snacks for enticement and kept in a refrigerator on the premises. While looking for spare change at the grocery story, he pulled the mouse out of his sweatshirt pocket. Apparently the clerk was not amused. (Note the picture above and the lifeless fuzzy thing in his right hand—ew.)

Watch my blog, http://www.kathleenekovach.blogspot.com/, for updates or find me on Facebook.

This article was originally posted at the Edit Cafe blog on March 22, 2010:
(Blog With A Giggle article was edited on August 14, 2014)

Monday, March 1, 2010

My Checklist for Chocolate-Induced Content Edits

The following was posted on the ACFW Colorado blog today.

Ironic that I should kick off this month's topic, Editing and Revisions. I just finished an eleven page content edit for the third book in my contemporary Oregon series entitled Fine Feathered Friend (Barbour Heartsong Presents.) I rejoiced when I got that. At least it wasn't fifteen pages like the first book's edits.

I have a system when tackling edits of this nature. See if yours is similar.
  1. I open the large, thick attachment with fear and trembling.

  2. I peruse it, looking for key words and phrases. (Great job! Made me smile! You are the best, funniest, most talented author I have ever worked with!)

  3. When I don't find those key words and phrases, I minimize the window and tear my kitchen apart for chocolate. I know I'm going to need it.

  4. After a quick trip to the mini-market on the corner for chocolate, I open the window again and look at the comments with a more professional eye.

  5. My particular editor goes chapter by chapter. Generally, I skim through it the first time, changing the easy stuff first rather than getting bogged down on something that requires major thread surgery. This bouys my confidence when I see that much of it is easy to fix. (In God Gave the Song, for instance, she suggested I change a rock to a boulder. Whatever. I did it.)

  6. Then, I hit the things that require more thought, making sure my bowl of Hershey's Almond Toffee Milk Chocolate Nuggets is within reach. (In Fine Feathered Friend, she worried about the hero's grandfather and if he'd ever had the doctor's appointment that I had mentioned, and what was the outcome? Um...no, I totally forgot about it. And in the course of the story, I had to redo some things to show that he missed his appointment. And once you mess with a thread, you have to make sure that you haven't snipped it somewhere else along the line.)

  7. I go item by item, checking off each one or making a notation. (Ask raptor center about this, talk to crit group about how to approach this, and my favorite, IGNORE!)

  8. I try to leave enough time to read the entire story over again with all of my changes. This will, of course, prompt a little more tweaking, but is well worth it. (NOTE: If the editor has sent your manuscript for you to make track changes, DO NOT accept all of the changes unless instructed to do so. If you want to read a clean manuscript, save to a new document, then hit accept all.)

  9. Satisfied with my changes, I send them back to my editor and finish off the bowl of chocolate as my reward.

  10. I step up my Curves program to five days a week instead of three to get rid of the chocolate-generated fat on my thighs.

That's how I approach edits that come back from my publisher, but I utilize the principle in a similar way before sending it out in the first place. Attack the small stuff, assault the larger picture, annihalate the bowl of chocolate. Regroup at Curves.